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Trump Team Again Asks SCOTUS to Stop Youth Climate Case as Trial Nears
Once again, the Trump administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt a groundbreaking constitutional climate lawsuit brought by 21 youth plaintiffs, just over a week before the case heads to trial in Eugene, Oregon.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice filed a second "writ of mandamus" petition— an uncommonly used legal maneuver—and application for stay with the high court.
Department of Justice attorneys described the "impending harm" to the defendants as follows:
"Absent relief from this Court, the government imminently will be forced to participate in a 50-day trial that would violate bedrock requirements for agency decisionmaking and judicial review imposed by the [Administrative Procedure Act] and the separation of powers."
Juliana v. United States, originally filed in 2015 against the Obama administration, targets the government for creating policies that encouraged climate change, and for violating the country's youngest citizens their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, as well as failing to protect essential public trust resources. The Trump administration inherited the case and both administrations have tried to throw out it out.
"We are 6 business days from a trial we have been preparing for for three years," Vic Barrett, a 19-year-old plaintiff from White Plains, New York, said in a press release in response to the government's petition. "The lengths my own government is going to to get this case thrown out and avoid trial is absurd and offensive."
A federal judge on Monday issued another ruling that preserved the trial's start date on Oct. 29, unless the Supreme Court or the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit intervenes.
In the 62-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken largely rejected the government's arguments to stop the case but granted a motion to dismiss President Donald Trump as a defendant.
On Friday, government attorneys filed a third writ of mandamus petition to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay district court proceedings. The Ninth Circuit has not yet issued a decision on those filings, according to Our Children's Trust, the non-profit group supporting the youth plaintiffs. Judges with the Ninth Circuit denied the first two petitions, saying the petitions were not justified.
"If the United States Supreme Court allows the federal branch of government to act in this manner, stops this case and denies us our right as young people to be heard in a court of law, the institutional legitimacy of this highest court will be harmed," Aji Piper, an 18-year-old plaintiff from Seattle, added in the press release. "At this moment in our country's history when we are so divided, it is more important than ever that the judicial branch of our government maintains the trust and respect of the American public. There is nothing great about a country that abandons its children and future generations."
- State defends youth lawsuit: 'Alaska is not causing climate change.' ›
- Can 'climate kids' take on governments and win? - CNN ›
- Landmark U.S. Federal Climate Lawsuit — Our Children's Trust ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."